Sensory Overload

Last night we braved the crowds and participated in what I like to call the Ikea Marathon Extravaganza. I recommend you do not do the marathon alone. If I had been there alone, the Ikea employees would have found me curled in the fetal position in one of the many mock bathtubs.
This place, a fantasy land for bargain shoppers and impulse buyers, is filled to the brim with everything you could possibly want for your home and tons of stuff you never knew you needed until you saw it in assorted bright colors in a bin marked $2.99. $2.99! I'll take five!
Being a dirt poor college student, I did a lot of picking up cheaply priced items, like spaghetti containers or lamps, carrying them around for a bit and then putting them back.
An hour into the marathon, I realized I hadn't blinked since I got in the store. My eyes ached, my feet ached, and goddammit that lady just ran me over with her goddamn cart!
I would turn around to find Dave and he'd be standing next to a bedroom staring off into space.
"Oooh, it's a window," he'd say.

"Yeah. C'mon," I'd say and guide him back to the path.

I didn't start to lose it until I was wandering around the candle section, the only place I was set on picking something up and carrying it with me to the checkout. I found a cute little tea light holder, only 50 cents, and proceeded to drop it on the floor. It clinked and clanked as it bounced on the tile. Thank Jesus it didn't break or I would have had a melt down. I picked it up and put it back in the bin as Dave rounded the corner.

"This is the part in the game where I say we just look at what we're going to buy and then get the fuck out of here," I said.

By the time we got to the check out line we had to wait behind at least a hundred people before purchasing our stuff. Dave and I stood there like zombies for about 20 minutes. I eavesdropped on conversations. Contemplated buying a couple of bars of Swedish chocolate and a box of Swedish meatballs. And complained about how hungry I was, how bad my feet hurt, how tired I was.

The marathon, in its entirety, took a good four hours. This includes driving there, walking through the whole store, refueling at Jason's Deli and driving back. One of these days I'll be a pro. I'll know the lingo, know the shortcuts, know how to deal with crazy old ladies that run me over with their carts, remember to blink. But until then, I've gotta rest up for the next trip.


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